UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2 Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

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Alexa Grasso, left, jabs Valentina Shevchenko during a UFC 285 mixed martial arts flyweight title bout Saturday, March 4, 2023.
(AP Photo/David Becker)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Oct 26, 2023, 10:49 PM
  • The women’s flyweight title rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko will headline the fight night this Saturday, Sept. 17.
  • Valentina Shevchenko is the betting favorite at -165.
  • Alexa Grasso is the betting underdog at +140.

An immediate rematch between newly minted UFC women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso (16-3) and former champion Valentina Shevchenko (23-4) headlines the fight night this Saturday, Sept. 16, inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It is the same venue where Grasso scored a massive submission upset in March at UFC 285 to become the new titleholder of the division.

Because of that surprise victory, Grasso will come in as the +140 underdog in UFC odds against Shevchenko, who is tagged as the favorite at -165 to reclaim her undisputed title. Furthermore, “The Bullet” was leading in the judges’ scorecards before making a mistake that Grasso capitalized on to set up her submission technique, leading Grasso to the fourth-round finish.

Alexa Grasso Recent Fight Results

Before joining the UFC in 2016, Grasso was an undefeated fighter with eight wins, including four stoppages on her record. She officially debuted inside the Octagon in November 2016 and unanimously beat Heather Clark. After that successful first showing, the Mexican athlete experienced an alternate result of winning and losing by winning two and losing three in her next five fights.

But the 30-year-old racked up four successive wins since August 2020, beating Ji Yeon Kim (via unanimous decision), Maycee Barber (via unanimous decision), Joanne Wood (via first-round submission), and Viviane Araujo (via unanimous decision). Because of this impressive streak, Grasso earned the title shot against Shevchenko and did the unthinkable by ending her dominant reign in the division with a fourth-round face crank submission win.

Valentina Shevchenko Recent Fight Results

Valentina Shevchenko already racked up an incredible record of 11 wins and one loss on her record before signing with the UFC in 2015. Ever since “The Bullet” competed in the UFC, she only lost to Amanda Nunes in both their bouts in March 2016 and September 2017 when she moved up to the bantamweight division to challenge “The Lioness.” Shevchenko was undefeated in the 125-pound division until Grasso handed that loss in March 2023.

The fighter out of Kyrgyzstan has piled up the wins over the likes of Holly Holm, Julianna Pena, Priscila Cachoeira, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Liz Carmouche, Jennifer Maia, Lauren Murphy and Taila Santos. With her four-year reign in the women’s flyweight division, Shevchenko tied Jose Aldo’s record in the list of top five UFC champions with most title defenses with seven apiece. She could have eclipsed Aldo if she won against Grasso during her last fight. 

Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko: Tale of the Tape

Alexa GrassoValentina Shevchenko
Age3035
Height5’5”5’5”
Reach66 inches67 inches
Leg Reach37.5 inches38 inches
Record16-323-4
Fighting StyleStrikerMuay Thai
Finishing Rate38%65%

Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2: Fight Analysis

This rematch between defending champion Grasso and challenger Shevchenko doesn’t need a breakdown of who’s got the upper hand in terms of the tale of the tape because those were thrown out of the window already when they faced each other the first time last March. For this fight analysis, I’ll discuss the things that both effectively employed in the previous fight.

As mentioned earlier, Shevchenko was winning in the judges’ scorecards because she adjusted her fight plan accordingly in the second and third rounds by taking Grasso down to the mat and controlling the majority of the round by attacking her while on the ground and with multiple submission attempts. Shevchenko also fully utilized her kicks and counterstrikes to score points against Grasso.

Meanwhile, Grasso surprised Shevchenko in the opening round with her forward-pressure approach paired with her elite boxing skills. She found the head of “The Bullet” multiple times in the opening round, which caused visible damage to her face. It was also the main reason why Shevchenko changed her fight strategy in the next two rounds because Grasso was gaining the upper hand while on their feet.

But, in the fourth round, Grasso pulled off one of the techniques she had in store for Shevchenko, where she timed her spinning back fist attempt, which caught the former champion off guard. Because of how quick the transition was, Shevchenko yielded to the submission attempt by Grasso that eventually transitioned to a face crank and ultimately decided the championship fight and crowned a new champion.

This career-defining victory for the Mexican fighter has boosted her confidence to a whole new level, much like how Leon Edwards elevated him when he beat Kamaru Usman. The confidence of knowing that she can go toe-to-toe with one of the best female MMA fighters of all time can be one of the best weapons that Grasso would bring in the upcoming rematch with “The Bullet.”

Meanwhile, Shevchenko’s main goal for this title rematch is to have her revenge against Grasso and reclaim the belt she held for four years. This mentality can be a disadvantage for her, especially if she can’t secure the win. Additionally, Shevchenko is almost already in the latter part of her 30s, which means that her age, plus the wear and tear she already sustained from fighting, can also play a role at this stage of her professional career.

Official Prediction: Unanimous decision victory for Alexa Grasso.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.